Donald Trump in Manchester, N.H., on Oct. 12, 2015. (Jim Cole/Associated Press)

“Narrative” is the most odious word in all of political punditry, in part because of its ubiquity. As Mark Leibovich wrote recently in the New York Times Magazine, “It is during election season that narratives become cesspools of predictable inanity. It is no longer enough for candidates to simply win or lose or be right or wrong. They must also control the narrative.”

Correct and complete. We needn’t use this space to elaborate on the triteness of this term. It’s indefensible on every level. At this point, what’s needed is “narrative” editing — suggesting some alternative phrasing in the hope that someday our airwaves will be rid of the term. Below is a smattering of “narrative” iterations drawn from the coverage of the New Hampshire primary on cable news over the past 12 hours or so, each with a suggestion on cliche avoidance.

CNN’s Tom Foreman to Carol Costello on Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness (10:17 a.m. Wednesday): “I’m telling you, Carol, this plays completely into this thing the Clinton campaign is trying to handle this right now but the speeches and what she’s paid and whether she’ll release the transcript of them, whether you think that’s right or wrong or she has anything wrong with that or not, it plays into this narrative that we saw among New Hampshire voters. They don’t feel they can trust her.”

Edit: ” . . . it reflects a sentiment among New Hampshire voters.”

Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway to CNN’s Carol Costello on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s troubles (10:03 a.m.): “Bridgegate, although Governor Christie has not been implicated in anything there, it really turned the narrative around. Before the victims of his elevated kind of talk — they were unions and they were Democrats, they were people living off the system but then it looked like it was commuters, and it was everyday people.”

Jokey edit: “Bridgegate, although Governor Christie has not been implicated in anything there, really hurt his brand.”

Edit: “Bridgegate, although Governor Christie has not been implicated in anything there, hurt him.”

CNN’s Victor Blackwell to Carol Costello on Jeb Bush’s prospects in South Carolina (10:02 a.m.): “The state has been good to the Bushes over the years. George H.W. Bush won here, George W. Bush won here, and they believe they have they have a strong narrative that Jeb Bush has the credentials to be commander in chief in these quite difficult times.”

Edit: ” . . . they believe they have they have a strong case that Jeb Bush has the credentials to be commander in chief in these quite difficult times.”

CNN’s Kevin Madden to Anderson Cooper on Sen. Marco Rubio’s prospects (12:17 a.m.): “He has no choice, really. He has to really change the narrative from that last debate and really have a good one here.”

Edit: “He has to make people forget what just happened.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper (12:16 a.m.): “If you are Marco Rubio — he has said tonight, ‘Look, this loss was on me; what happened at that debate is never gonna happen again.’ The thing that was so powerful about that debate is it did sort of confirm a previous narrative that already existed — fairly or not — about Marco Rubio as a candidate.”

Edit: “The thing that was so powerful about that debate is it did sort of confirm a standing criticism . . . ”

CNN’s Mark Preston to Jake Tapper and Dana Bash on Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s prospects (12:11 a.m.): “What’s interesting — the John Kasich narrative, as he does well here in New Hampshire, but what’s next?”

Edit: “What’s next for John Kasich?”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to peers regarding Donald Trump (6:54 a.m.): “What we have seen for six months, eight months, since July and this has been a rolling narrative on our show, would hold up a paper and go, ‘It’s July 5, everybody says Donald can’t do anything.’ Well, it’s into August, well, it’s into September, and we’ve heard the same thing over and over and over again from all the smart people in New York and Washington.”

Edit: “What we have seen for six months, eight months, since July and this has been a rolling narrative on our show, would hold up a paper and go, ‘It’s July 5, everybody says Donald can’t do anything.’ Well, it’s into August, well, it’s into September, and we’ve heard the same thing over and over and over again from all the smart people in New York and Washington who use the term ‘narrative’ when talking politics.”

Fox News’s Steve Doocy to Marco Rubio (7:26 a.m.): “Chris Christie was . . . clobbering you about the fact that some of your answers sounded like rehearsed sound bites that you just repeated over and over. Does that mean you’re going to completely blow off your narrative?”

Edit: [Please remove Doocy’s show, “Fox & Friends," from the airwaves.]

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to supporters (9:23 p.m. Tuesday): “To everyone who went to hillaryclinton.com to give what you could — more than 700,000 people have contributed to this campaign, the vast majority giving less than $100. I know that doesn’t fit with the narrative. I know there are those who want to deny the passion and the purpose you all show every day for this campaign, but you are the reason we are here and you are the reason we are going to win the nomination.”

Edit: [Because it covers the media exclusively, the Erik Wemple Blog doesn’t edit the remarks of politicians. Note, however, that the terminology of establishment media has seeped into the message of an establishment candidate!]